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What are Land Surveyors?

10/18/2013 10:37:05 AM | by Anonymous

Land Surveyors

Land surveyors are individuals who carry out a variety of measurements dealing with the surface or earth, air and water. The main purpose is to establish boundaries to provide concrete research and satisfy ownership for legal documents. A land surveyor will also perform researches to discover any previously recorded boundaries and use them for comparison. There are an extensive range of surveyors. Job titles categorises them from the type of work they do and where they do. Some examples are as follows:


1. Geodetic surveyors – To measure large pieces of the earth surface
2. Geophysical prospecting surveyors – To mark areas below the surface of the earth for mines
3. Marine/Hydrographic surveyors – To measure harbour, river and other bodies of water
4. Survey/ Mapping technician – Assists the land surveyor at a site by taking notes and input of information
5. Geographic information system specialist – A new field that involves the technology of computer and satellites combing the knowledge of the surveyor and mapping scientists


Some surveyors never make visits to the site they are mapping. These specialists make maps from the aerial photos provided to them and spend their workday in an office. They are known as photogrammetrists. The surveyor studies all the legal records in search of previous boundaries or markers. After performing the survey, they will spend time checking facts and drawing the accurate configuration of the site. Writing final reports and making maps are the final steps in their assignment of a piece of property assigned to them.

The primary roles of the land surveyor include determining the boundary of real property on the ground. That boundary already has been established and described in legal documents. Official plans and maps are also prepared by engineers, attorneys and other land surveyors. Corners of the property will either be monumented by the surveyor hired to perform a survey of a new boundary that have been agreed upon by the adjoining land owners or a prior surveyor.

Monuments are categorized into two groups known as the natural and artificial. Natural monuments refers to things such as trees, large stones and other substantial, natural occurring objects that were in place even before the survey was designed. Artificial monuments are things that are within the regulations and are usually placed at corner points by landowners, engineers, surveyors and others. They may be referred to as pipes, stakes, trees, concrete monuments or whatever the surveyor decides to use within the regulations of the area. They courts have held natural monuments control over artificial monuments because they are definitely more certain in identification and less likely to be disturbed.

Construction and maintenance of roads along with other acts of man and nature such as earthquakes, movement of water and tectonic shift over time can obliterate and damage the monumented locations of land boundaries.The land surveyor are then compelled to consider other evidence such as wood lines, fence locations, recollection of people and monuments on neighboring properties. This other evidence is typically known as extrinsic evidence and is a common principle. Extrinsic evidence is defined as the evidence outside writings. It is held to be synonymous with evidences from other sources.

One common use of land surveyors is to determine the legal property boundary. The first stage is known as the resurvey to obtain copies of the deed description and all other relevant documents needed from the owner. The deed description is of the deed and not a tax statement. The surveyor would then obtain copies of deed descriptions and the maps of the adjoining properties. On top of that, any records from the municipality or county, records of surveys and utility maps should also be obtained. Depending on the region the survey is to be located. Some of the information may not be available or even exist. However, whether the information exists or not a thorough search should be done to ensure that no records are neglected.

Copies of deeds are usually located in the county recorder’s office and the maps can be found at the county recorder or surveyor’s office. These arrangements will vary based on state and survey system thus a certain sense of familiarity is required. When all the records are assembled, the surveyor checks and ensures the documents are free from errors. The title abstract usually gives the order of seniority of deeds tract being surveyed and used.


After the data is gathered and analyzed, the field survey is then commenced. The initial operations should be concentrated on locating the various monuments. In urban regions, monuments should be sought initially but in the absence of property corners marked by metal survey markers, iron pipes and pins. When the approximate positions have been located a traverse is run around the property. While the traverse is being run, ties should be measured and details to be relevant to the information acquired. The surveyor then takes his data collected and compares it to the records received. When a solution is reached and chosen as the best, all the data are then coordinated and tied by direction and distance. Once all of these have been established, dimensions can now be shown from these features to the boundary line and a map or plat is then prepared for the client as reference.


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